Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hike 2014.004 -- Calico Tanks, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, NV

Hiked way back on Sunday, February 2. So now I'm posting totally out of order, again.

This was from a trip to Las Vegas where I forgot my camera. All I had was my cell phone, which takes very poor pictures. I'm not sure how much is the phone's fault, and how much is just the lens being dirty, but the sharpness and color is a little wonky (same as with my first Kelso Dunes visit of the year--which was on this same trip).

This is one of the hikes Motion went on, when they were in Las Vegas. It's very short and not very difficult. The signs say a little over one mile each way, while the National Geographic map of Red Rock Canyon says it's 1.5 miles each way. Of course, many of the Nat Geo/Trails Illustrated maps I have used have contained errors (or, at least, discrepancies between what the map says and what I have observed on the ground, and it's not like I've hiked on the trails shown on any of their maps). I guess the lesson there is, even if it's on a map, you always have to allow for the possibility that a trail doesn't go where the map says it does.

Either because of or in spite of the short hike, this one works nicely. It's not nearly as high as Turtlehead Peak (with which it shares a trailhead a a short segment of trail--that's Turtlehead in the first picture of this post), but you still get an overview of the Calico Hills, and you've still got a nice view of the Las Vegas Strip. Or at least, you would with a decent camera. In my case, the Strip is invisible in the shot.

The trail ends at a large "tank," a depression in terrain that catches water when it falls and keeps for at least much of the summer. When you reach the tank, heading somewhat up and to the right takes you easily around the tank and to a 180-plus degree view over the lower Calico Hills and, off to the southeast, the Las Vegas Valley.

I'll probably have to come back here sometime soon, with a better camera.

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